2 Secrets That Will Turbocharge Your PERSISTENCE Now

You’ve heard people say, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Now you might think that’s a nice, cute statement, but it’s actually true.

The Los Angeles Times surveyed 120 top performers in business, sports, politics, entertainment, and academia. The one characteristic all these winners had in common was PERSISTENCE. Every one of them PERSISTENTLY worked to reach the top.

The life story of Orville Redenbacher, the late popcorn king, is a classic example of such persistence. He was 63 years old before he convinced supermarket buyers that their customers would pay double for his premium popcorn. But let me give you the rest of the story.

Orville began raising popping corn as a 4-H project 50 years earlier on his father’s Indiana farm. And then over the years, Redenbacher continued experimenting with various hybrid popping corns and fertilizers.

Finally, he came up with a variety of corn that, when popped, was lighter and fluffier than the standard store-bought variety. Then he learned how to dry it slowly, to assure that every kernel would pop.

That was just the beginning. Orville spent the next four years driving through Indiana and Illinois…seeking farmers who would grow the corn … and retailers who would sell it. A year later, a Chicago marketing firm convinced him to put his photograph on the label and to change the name from “Red Box” to “Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn.”

He thought it was absurd advice. After all, who would want to buy a jar of popcorn with a picture of an old man on the label? But he gave it a try, sending a case of the newly labeled corn to the manager of the gourmet food department at Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago. She loved it and ordered a truck full, asking Redenbacher to be on hand to autograph jars as they sold. “Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn” became the world’s leading popping corn. Asked about his philosophy of life, Redenbacher replied, “Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. And be persistent.”

American journalist George Lorimer echoed that sentiment. He wrote: “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”

As the Los Angeles Times survey indicates, as Redenbacher proves, PERSISTENCE is one of the most important ingredients in the formula for success. And the good news is you can learn and master this skill by following these two secrets.

► 1. Use the language of inclusion.

To a great extent, your persistence is influenced by the words you speak. And all too many people use a

negative language that destroys their persistence. Let me explain.

Ask a child who has visited Disney World what he thinks about it, and he’ll probably say, “It was great!”

He’s speaking the positive. And he’s telling you the way IT IS. According to J. Mitchell Perry and Scott

Jamison in their book, In the Zone: Achieving Optimal Performance in Business, the child is speaking the language of INCLUSION.

By contrast, ask the child’s parent what he thinks about Disney World, and he may say, “It wasn’t too bad… It wasn’t as crowded as I expected…and… the prices weren’t too steep.” The parent is speaking the negative and telling you the way IT ISN’T. He’s using the language of EXCLUSION, a language that destroys persistence. As Perry and Jamison indicate, it is “the vocabulary of doubt, absence, omission, equivocation, and diminution. It is the language of hesitancy, anxiety, and fear and will tell you what isn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t, and won’t.”

Take a look at these examples. And see where you tend to fall. If you’re a PERSISTENT peak performer, you tend to use the language of INCLUSION.

  • You tend to say, “I feel good” instead of “I can’t complain.”
  • You tend to say, “I’m pleased” instead of “I couldn’t ask for more.”
  • You tend to say, “Let’s do it” rather than “I don’t see why not.”
  • You tend to say, “It’s a pleasure” instead of “No problem.”
  • You tend to say, “Let’s do it” instead of “Why don’t we…”

To turbocharge your persistence, watch your words carefully. Speak more positive words about the way things are and speak fewer words that contain a negative … such as “isn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t, and won’t.”

negative language that destroys their persistence. Let me explain.

Ask a child who has visited Disney World what he thinks about it, and he’ll probably say, “It was great!”

He’s speaking the positive. And he’s telling you the way IT IS. According to J. Mitchell Perry and Scott

Jamison in their book, In the Zone: Achieving Optimal Performance in Business, the child is speaking the language of INCLUSION.

By contrast, ask the child’s parent what he thinks about Disney World, and he may say, “It wasn’t too bad… It wasn’t as crowded as I expected…and… the prices weren’t too steep.” The parent is speaking the negative and telling you the way IT ISN’T. He’s using the language of EXCLUSION, a language that destroys persistence. As Perry and Jamison indicate, it is “the vocabulary of doubt, absence, omission, equivocation, and diminution. It is the language of hesitancy, anxiety, and fear and will tell you what isn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t, and won’t.”

Take a look at these examples. And see where you tend to fall. If you’re a PERSISTENT peak performer, you tend to use the language of INCLUSION.

  • You tend to say, “I feel good” instead of “I can’t complain.”
  • You tend to say, “I’m pleased” instead of “I couldn’t ask for more.”
  • You tend to say, “Let’s do it” rather than “I don’t see why not.”
  • You tend to say, “It’s a pleasure” instead of “No problem.”
  • You tend to say, “Let’s do it” instead of “Why don’t we…”

To turbocharge your persistence, watch your words carefully. Speak more positive words about the way things are and speak fewer words that contain a negative … such as “isn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t, and won’t.”

► 2. Choose responses of persistence.

In other words, when challenges come your way, don’t automatically cave in, give up, lose your determination, and put persistence aside. Stop and think. How would a persistent person respond? And choose to do likewise.

Your PERSISTENCE — or lack of it — is the result of the responses you choose and practice. If you choose a positive reaction to a situation, you will remain persistent. But if you choose a negative reaction, you will give up. It’s that simple.

Jerry, a restaurant manager, illustrated that point. Jerry, was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude.

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made my friend curious. So, one day, he asked Jerry, “How do you do it? No one can be a positive person all the time.”

Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, ‘I have two choices today: I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood.’ I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining, or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life.”

“But it’s not always that easy,” my friend protested.

“Yes, it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. It’s your choice how you live your life.”